Still time to respond to census. By Heather Mustain, associate pastor.
Every ten years, the United States sends out an army of census takers to probe the nation for useful statistics that demonstrate how the country has changed over the past decade.
The federal government uses census data to determine how much each state should get in federal money for programs related to transportation, healthcare, housing and education.
It’s critical that every Texan be counted this year, and there’s still time — each household can respond to the 2020 Census through Sept. 30 by visiting https://my2020census.gov.
According to a George Washington University Institute of Public Policy report, for every 1% of the population not counted, Texas may lose $300 million in federal medical funds alone — by far the biggest potential net loss for any state. Add to this loss the effects of business decisions involving hiring and headquartering in the state as well as projected Social Security payouts that may cause irrevocable financial troubles in years to come. We could lose billions before ever making it to the next census, but a loss of funding is just the tip of the iceberg.
If the population is accurately recorded, Texas could gain three additional congressional seats, but if the population is undercounted, Texas will lose that additional representation. That means our voice in national affairs will be diminished in proportion to other states. And whenever the nation holds a presidential election, Texas will lose electoral votes due to the census undercount, setting the stage for political outcomes that may distort the true will of the people.
We have a real opportunity to ensure that Texas and the people who live here are well represented and well funded for the next ten years. We also have a real opportunity to drop the ball.
Let’s make sure everyone is counted this year — because every human being counts.